Nose: Direct from the bottle, I would swear this is bourbon. In the glass it is much more subtle. A small splash of water brings out delicate fruit notes, along with vanilla. Very fresh-smelling, slightly grassy, quite delightful.
Taste: a firm bite to this. Lovely mouthfeel, flavours of wine gums and oak. Like Redbreast, you get that slightly coppery tang at the back of the tongue. It is not the richest or most expressive flavour but is nonetheless lip-smacking stuff.
Finish: a crisp, toasty oak-centred exit, leaving behind the lingering sweetness from the fortified wine casks.
Balance: this gives Redbreast a serious run for its money as the best Irish whiskey I've tried. It is stronger, less overtly sweet, with a deeper complexity that takes time to tease out. The triple cask maturation does it justice, enhancing the spirit without being overbearing, and leaving no unwanted traces of bitterness. A unique whiskey which doesn't quite justify its high price. A nice find on the clearance shelf!